W.R. Yuma is using 3D-printing technology to produce fashionable sunglasses made from plastic waste.

W.R. Yuma produces 3D-printed sunglasses using plastic waste from soda bottles, car dashboards and fridges, depending on the desired frame colour. The frames are entirely 3D-printed in a zero-waste process by using only the exact amount of material needed. The black frames are made from recycled car dashboards while the transparent plastic is 90% made from soda bottles from all over Europe. It takes about 2 small soda bottles to produce one pair of glasses. The company runs a zero-stock policy which implies that they only start producing the glasses after orders are taken.

The company is also developing a return policy for their glasses, so customers can trade items from previous collections in return for a discount when buying new ones. Depending on price and level of discount this could be a step away from the make-use-dispose model of linear economy towards a more circular and sustainable model of product fluctuation. Furthermore, two of the main suppliers of plastic – Better Future Factory in the Netherlands and Tridea in Belgium – are located close to the startup’s Antwerp headquarters which is a step towards localising production.

Why you should care

We produce around one million plastic bottles every minute across the globe, less than half of which are recycled, leading to issues of ocean pollution and exceeding landfill capacity. W. R. Yuma are working with local recycling companies to help increase recycling rates and change attitudes towards single-use plastic and fast fashion.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Responsible consumption and production

W.R. Yuma use recycled plastic from local suppliers for their sunglass frames, and encourage return of items after use for further recycling.